04262017
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Provo will survey residents about RAP tax, how money should be spent

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Bicentennial Park in south Provo is one of the parks that would benefit from a RAP tax. (Photo courtesy Provo city)

Bicentennial Park in south Provo is one of the parks that would benefit from a RAP tax. (Photo courtesy Provo city)

Provo residents: Next week you could get an email asking for your opinion on whether the city should have a new sales tax to support recreation and arts, and how that money should be spent.

Before Provo’s city council decides whether the Recreation Arts and Parks tax will be  on the ballot in November, it wants to know what people think about it. A past survey showed that 74 percent of Provo voters supported the tax, which would add 1 cent to every $10 spent in the city. In Utah County, Orem and American Fork collect versions of the RAP tax.

Specifically, the 10-minute survey will gather information in five areas, said BYU professor Quin Monson, who’s overseeing the effort:

  • public opinion on the tax and city’s budget and current perceptions;
  • priorities for allocating the collected tax
  • what constitutes arts that should be funded by the city;
  • opinion on whether city parks and facilities should be updated and improved or whether the money should be spent on new facilities;
  • and a measurement of how the results differ across subgroups and demographics of the city.

Monson said the survey will be ready to launch on Monday, and he’ll have results for the council at its next work meeting on July 21.

Councilman Hal Miller worried that the survey may be redundant with previous efforts to gather data on the subject, and whether people can thoughtfully answer the questions without having significant background and information explained to them.

The previous survey included a basic query about support and didn’t go into depth about the issue, Monson said, so it’s not redundant. As for providing significant information, the survey will focus on people’s experience with the recreation and arts facilities in the city — how often they use the facilities and what they like and don’t like.

Provo’s parks and recreation board has recommended that the council put the issue on the November ballot and spend the majority of money on parks and recreation. If approved, voters would have to renew the sales tax every 10 years.

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